Conquering Even the Simplest of Sewing Projects

Talk about ambivalence--when it comes to sewing I go back and forth between courageous and insecure. This time it was a project bag for knitting, that I'd seen in Bells' recent post. She linked back to the tutorial she'd used to make hers, so I printed out the instructions and gave it a go.

But first I went to Michael's a scored a 40% off coup--the fabric cutting board regularly $49.99 came home with me at much less. 8^) And then I had to go to Joann of course, to see what fat quarters might be waiting to turn into a project bag. Finally got going this morning after doing a little cutting (love the rotary cutter tool!), and immediately created something rather wonky and off-kilter.

I was sure my trouble lay in the spatial relations portion of my cranium (or rather, where it SHOULD be). After all, what could be so hard about sewing a rectangle onto a square? But alas, it didn't come out right. Finally DD#3, who has tons of spatial relations prowess as well as much more sewing moxie than her mother, offered to see what was wrong, made her own prototype following the pattern, and pronounced it a mistake in measurements.

Whew! I'd rather not be bad at measuring, but if it comes to something I can easily FIX, then that's OK with me. So a little fabric went back into the scrap bag, but with more, a reclaimed sheet and some backing fabric, I came up with the first of many project bags I expect I'll make.

As can be seen, the bag is just the size for a sock and some of those teeny sock needles people use. Not being a sock knitter YET, I could only stick my smallest project in there with my longer needles.

Next bag will be a tad larger!

When Too Many Blogs Becomes a Bad Idea

So last summer in the throes of my freedom from school, I suddenly got the idea that starting a blog about cooking would be a good idea. Well, I have enjoyed it, and make new entries about once a month, but honestly, I don't have time for three blogs. The second of mine is for my writing tutoring students, so it's somewhat more functional in that context and only requires something of me now and then. But as for the cooking and knitting blogs, that sense of missed opportunities, and obligations not met, is tough on a descendant of Puritans. Or Catholics, or both.

I got to thinking that I should really just blog, mostly about knitting, but also about life in general, including but not limited to what I'm cooking. Then I got a nice kick in the pants from one of my favoritest bloggers, Bells, who was just coming to the same conclusion. Great minds and all that!

So here it is. Some knitting, some living, some various other things near and dear to me.

Most recently I have been starting projects, after frogging a bunch of started items that just never grabbed me. This was all in the process of cleaning my fright of a study, so that at least once in the year it can be reasonably organized. But bringing closure to one set of UFOs freed me up to start more! So right now I'm underway with the Simple Mistake Rib vest from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, made with GGH Cadiz Unito, in royal blue, for my sister Kate.
As you see, the photo is not picking up the true shade of blue, but as I make progress, I'll photograph it again in outdoor light, and maybe that will do the trick.

Then I have a super secret sweater project that I'm done swatching for but can't say much more about except it's not for me, and that I'm using Cherry Tree Hill Charmed. It's a variegated baby alpaca that is so dang soft, it's like knitting with a kitten!

I got enough Crystal Palace Kaya to make myself a sweater for fall, and then because that was so exciting and full of potential, I got enough Quince and Co. Osprey (in a mushroom shade--love it!) to make myself yet another sweater! Guess I'd best get crackin'! I decided to use the pattern featured on Quince and Co's new website for the Osprey (worsted weight) line, called Annabel. I think I'll swatch it in seed stitch and see if it would do OK.

My other great developing hobby this summer is biking. On a trip last month with my sister and DD#1, Rachel, to stay overnight at Stehekin, Washington, I went on a bike ride with them that just set my heart singing. Rachel too said at one point, "I feel so happy!" as we pedaled. "That's just endorphins," I said snidely, but then I admitted that I too was loving the free feeling of biking up and down the hills, through gorgeous country, with two of the BEST women in my world. So here is a photo of that trip, with Rachel and me biking, and also one of my very recent acquisition ("adoption" sounds so much more friendly!), a Raleigh Venture 4.0 in a gorgeous metallic champagne color.
If you've ever realized that biking was NO FUN because your derriere hurt, your wrists went numb, and your back ached afterward from leaning over all the time, try a "comfort bike," like this one. It totally sold me on the pleasure of biking. And no, I'm not working for the Raleigh Corp. (But maybe I should!) 
I got the Raleigh because those were the bikes we had rented at Stehekin. Though I researched and rode a few others in my search, this one had great online reviews and got the gut reaction, "Yeah!" when I got on it again at the bike shop.

While Rachel and I trekked in Washington with various relatives, I kept busy doing some stained glass hats (free form, for the most part) in preparation for some adult sized ones in non traditional tones (using a very specific pattern, from Green Mountain Spinnery). Rather than changing colors for the stained glass effect, I'm using variegated, deep colored yarn, and I think they turned out great! Here are two.

Now off to find a bike lock (combination, says DD#3, who knows a lot about bikes and the functional aspects of using them) and a good bike bag/basket. Happy knitting and living, all!